ASTM E2458 - 17

    Standard Practices for Bulk Sample Collection and Swab Sample Collection of Visible Powders Suspected of Being Biological Agents and Toxins from Nonporous Surfaces

    Active Standard ASTM E2458 | Developed by Subcommittee: E54.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.08


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 These practices should be used only to collect visible samples that are suspected biological agents and toxins and have been field screened as defined by the FBI-DHS-HHS/CDC Coordinated Document for explosive hazard, radiological hazard, and other acute chemical hazards.

    4.2 These practices provide standardized methods for collecting, packaging, and transporting suspicious visible powder samples that are suspected biological agents and toxins. Collection of a bulk powder material from a nonporous surface using a sterile swab and laminated card as the collection devices to move the material into a container will depend on several factors, including (but not limited to): (1) amount of visible powder present; (2) sample composition; (3) choice of collection device; (4) size and shape of the collection container; (5) ability of the powder to become aerosolized; (6) texture and porosity of the surface; (7) humidity; (8) air movement; and (9) electrostatic properties of powders and collection tools/containers.

    4.3 Similarly, these practices standardize methods for sampling suspicious visible powders for on-site analysis, although wipe and swab sampling is often employed in the field for subsequent LRN reference laboratory analysis. The ability to collect suitable samples from nonporous surfaces using a sterile moistened swab will depend on the following factors: (1) swabbing procedure; (2) swab material; (3) sample composition; and (4) texture of the surface.

    4.4 These practices standardize suspicious powder collection and packaging procedures and swab sampling procedures in order to reduce exposure risk, to reduce variability associated with sample handling and sample analysis, and to increase reliability of sampling visible powder samples from nonporous surfaces.

    4.5 The bulk sample collection practice and the swab sampling practice are recommended for collecting amassed or dispersed powder samples from all nonporous surfaces on which the suspicious powder sample is clearly visible.

    4.6 These practices are not recommended for samples on porous materials such as upholstery, carpeting, air filters, or ceiling tiles.

    4.7 These practices are recommended for collecting visible powders where the bulk of the powder sample is amassed or dispersed over a limited area (optimally, area should be less than 20 by 20 cm (approximately 8 by 8 in.) or 400 cm2 (approximately 64 in.2).

    4.8 These practices are to be performed by personnel who are adequately trained to work with hazardous materials in the hot zone (see NFPA 472, or OSHA - 29 CFR 1910.120). Personnel performing collection or screening under these practices shall be adequately trained in the use of sampling equipment, materials, and procedures. This includes personnel performing the prior initial chemical and radiological screening. Personnel should use the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) to mitigate hazards during collection and screening. Personnel performing collection or screening under these practices shall be aware of evidence preservation and sampling procedures (NFPA 472 section 6.5).

    4.9 These standard practices should be used in accordance with Guide E2770 for best practices for planning, training and evaluation of competency.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These practices address collection of visible powders that are suspected biological agents and toxins from solid nonporous surfaces using a bulk collection method, using a dry swab and laminated card, followed by a swab sampling method using a sterile moistened swab. Bulk powder samples are collected and packaged in a manner that permits the maximum amount of the sample to be safely transported to a reference laboratory within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national Laboratory Response Network (LRN)2 for confirmatory identification and safe storage. If the source of the powder is a letter or small package, that item is also packaged in a manner that permits it to be safely transported to an LRN reference laboratory. A sterile moistened swab may be used to collect residual powder from the nonporous surface and may be used to conduct on-site biological assessments for the purpose of testing for biological agents and toxins.

    1.2 These practices are performed in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of a risk assessment including hazard assessment and threat credibility evaluation as recommended and clarified in Guide E2770. The decision to implement these practices and collect a public safety sample will be made by members of the response community of the jurisdiction assuming responsibility through coordination with the FBI and the receiving LRN reference laboratory.

    1.3 Sample Collection Method A covers the bulk collection and packaging of suspicious visible powders that are suspected biological agents and toxins from solid nonporous surfaces. All samples suspected to be biological agents and toxins on nonporous surfaces should be collected according to Sample Collection Method A and sent to an LRN reference laboratory for confirmatory testing.

    1.4 Sample Collection Method B covers swab sampling of residual suspicious powders that are suspected biological agents and toxins from solid nonporous surfaces. Swab samples can be used for on-site biological assessment; however results from on-site biological assessments are not definitive; confirmatory testing by the LRN reference laboratory is necessary to make public health decisions.

    1.5 These practices incorporate reference guidance for packaging and transport of suspicious visible powders to comply with all appropriate federal regulations regarding biosafety and biosecurity.

    1.6 These practices should only be used to collect visible samples that are suspected biological agents and toxins and have been field screened according to reference guidance for explosive hazard, radiological hazard, and other acute chemical hazards.

    1.7 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.9 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    Federal Government Regulations

    18 USC 178 Prohibitions with respect to biological weapons

    DOT - 49 CFR 172

    DOT 49 CFR, Parts 171-180 Hazardous Materials Regulations

    EPA - 40 CFR 300

    NIOSH - 42 CFR 84

    NRC - 10 CFR 20 Standards for Protection against Radiation

    OSHA - 29 1910.1096 and 29 CFR 1926.53

    OSHA - 29 CFR 1910.1200

    OSHA - 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I (Sections 132 to 139) Personal Protective Equipment

    OSHA - 29 CFR 1910 Subpart Z and 29 CFR 1926 Subpa Toxic and Hazardous Substances

    ASTM Standards

    E2770 Guide for Operational Guidelines for Initial Response to Suspected Biological Agents and Toxins

    F2412 Test Methods for Foot Protection

    F2413 Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.300 (Protection against dangerous goods); 71.040.40 (Chemical analysis); 87.040 (Paints and varnishes)

    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/E2458-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM E2458-17, Standard Practices for Bulk Sample Collection and Swab Sample Collection of Visible Powders Suspected of Being Biological Agents and Toxins from Nonporous Surfaces, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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